People have been using cannabis since 2900 B.C for all kinds of purposes. Thanks to the advanced technology and extensive research, scientists have been able to determine the compounds of cannabis that are beneficial not only for humans but for animals too. These compounds include cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant that doesn’t intoxicate and has a ton of uses. In this blog, we’ll take a look at a few of the uses of CBD, but first, let’s take a look at different ways you can take CBD and different types of CBD.
Different ways of taking CBD
Here are a few ways you can take CBD:
The topical application of CBD is best for skin care, pain, and inflammation. For this method, you use CBD creams, ointments, balms, gels, oil, etc. You put a few drops of the CBD product on your hand and massage it on the problem area, or you can apply the product directly on the problem area and rub it in with your hands. The CBD does not enter your bloodstream when using this method, so there are significantly lower chances of side effects or adverse reactions. When using this method, you don’t need any additional tools or knowledge about the product; you may not even have to monitor the dosage of the CBD product closely.
In the sublingual method of using CBD, you put a few drops of CBD oil or tincture under your tongue using a dropper. You hold the drops in your mouth for one or two minutes and then swallow. This method is considered to be very effective, and it is among the most popular method of using CBD. The dropper is usually included in the tincture bottle, so you don’t need any additional tools for this method as well. All you have to do is to figure out the right dosage and make sure that you are consuming the dosage that you need.
Edibles are the most delicious method of taking CBD and probably the most effective. Edibles are considered to be more potent than other cannabis and CBD products, so watch out how much you consume. You can buy pre-made CBD edibles such as CBD gummies, or you can make your own using CBD oil or CBD extract. Not only is this an effective method of experiencing the effects of CBD, but it is also the most discreet. People will think that you are eating normal gummies or food, the only way they’ll find out is if you give them a bite. CBD edibles may take up to four hours to kick in, so don’t overeat them if you don’t feel its effects right away.
Inhaling CBD via vapes and joints is another effective method of using CBD; however, it is also the riskiest. The smoke may cause discomfort in your lungs and throat, and experts are linking vapes with the recent lung injury outbreak, so use this method at your own discretion.
Different types of CBD
Now that we know about the ways we can use CBD let’s take a look at the different forms of CBD.
Isolate CBD products only contain CBD and do not contain any other cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. CBD isolate products are best for those who want to experience the effects of CBD but have a low tolerance to other cannabinoids of the cannabis plant.
Full-spectrum CBD means that it includes every single cannabinoid and the components of the cannabis plant, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Full-spectrum CBD products are best for those who want to enhance the effects of CBD and aren’t sensitive to other cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. Full-spectrum CBD products that are derived from hemp and contain 0.3% THC are legal most of the United States, so they are the easiest to find and more effective than isolate because of the entourage effect.
Similar to full-spectrum CBD products, broad-spectrum also contains almost all the cannabinoids of the cannabis plant; the only difference is that they don’t contain any THC. Broad-spectrum CBD is best for those who want to benefit from all the cannabinoids of the cannabis plant but have a lower tolerance for THC.
Uses of CBD
Now let’s take a look at a few uses of CBD:
Potentially relieving anxiety
Research suggests that CBD may be effective for relieving anxiety as it may alter the way our brain receptors react to serotonin. Serotonin is actively linked with mental health and the receptors we are talking about here are tiny proteins attached to our cells. These cells receive chemical messages and the proteins enable them to respond accordingly to various stimuli.
According to a study, a dosage of 600 mg of CBD is effective for relieving anxiety in social anxiety patients. An animal study suggests CBD may relieve anxiety by:
- Lowering stress levels.
- Reducing the physiological effects of anxiety, including increased heart rate.
- Inducing sleep in cases of anxiety–induced insomnia.
- Helping with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
Potentially reducing seizure frequency
CBD is considered to be a possible treatment of epilepsy. In fact, treating two rare, severe and medication–resistant forms of epilepsy is the only FDA approved the use of a CBD based drug named Epidiolex. Research about the ability of CBD to reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures is still relatively new, but still, it shows a ray of hope for people with epilepsy. A 2016 study published by the Lancet Neurology assessed 214 epilepsy patients. The researchers orally administered 2-5 mg of CBD every day to the patients, along with their existing epilepsy treatment. After 12 weeks of monitoring the seizure frequency and reviewing the side effects, the researchers concluded that the frequency of seizures was reduced by 36.5% after using CBD; however, 12% of participants experienced adverse side effects of CBD.
Potentially providing neuroprotection
There is a receptor in our brain called CB1, which researchers believe may be able to help patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Over time, neurodegenerative diseases cause the brain and the nerves to deteriorate. Researchers believe that CBD may interact with CB1 and help patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Inflammation can worsen the effects of neurodegenerative diseases and research suggest that CBD may help reduce the inflammation. Research is currently underway to understand the benefits of using CBD for:
Potentially relieving pain
Research suggests that CBD can help manage pain by interacting with your brain receptors and can relieve different kinds of pain, including chronic, injury, muscle, arthritis, and MS. A CBD and THC based drug called Nabiximols (Sativex) is already approved in Canada, and the UK for the treatment of pain caused by MS. Researchers believe that instead of directly reducing pain, it reduces the inflammation, which in turn reduces pain.
Potentially reducing acne
It is believed that CBD interacts with our immune system receptors and helps reduce inflammation, which may protect against acne. According to a study by the Journal of Clinical Investigation, CBD interacts with the sebaceous glands and alters the production of sebum, which is a naturally occurring oily substance our body produces for hydrating the skin; however, excess sebum production can cause acne. Be sure to talk to your dermatologist before using CBD for treating acne.
Help managing cancer symptoms
Several studies are looking into the effects of CBD for preventing and reducing the growth of cancer cells; however, the research is either based on mice or isn’t large enough, so we don’t know for sure if CBD can reduce cancer cell growth. According to the National Cancer Institute, CBD may alleviate the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy–induced vomiting and nausea.
Side effects of CBD
According to experts, CBD doesn’t cause any side effects if you use it appropriately; however, a few side effects may occur if you have a sensitive metabolism. These side effects may include:
- Low blood pressure
- Withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability and insomnia
Legality of CBD
Hemp–derived CBD containing less than 0.3% THC is legal in most of the United States. Other forms of CBD are also legal on a federal level under the Farm Bill of 2018; however, the bill allows states to decide upon the legality of CBD. Few states allow CBD for both medicinal and recreational purposes, few allow it only for medicinal purposes, and few don’t allow the use of CBD for any purpose. If you live in a state which allows both recreational and medicinal use of CBD, then you may not need a prescription to buy CBD. If you live in a state that only allows medicinal use, then you are going to need a prescription from a certified healthcare practitioner. If you possess CBD without a prescription in such states, then you may be at risk of legal action. If you live in a state which doesn’t allow both recreational and medicinal use of CBD, then you should not be in possession of CBD as it can lead to legal action. Always research state and federal laws before buying CBD or any other cannabis–derived product.
Consult your doctor before using CBD to know if it’s best for you and always buy certified CBD products. This way, you can eliminate the risks attached to the use of CBD and maximize its benefits.